Some diocesan bishops are rejecting the recommended reform that uses ‘catch-all’ phrases for parents.

January 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishops of France have been invited by a high-ranking brother bishop appointed by Pope Francis to adapt the baptismal registers of their diocese in order to take into account the “increasingly complex situation of families” in that country. 

In practice, the “recommended” formula would scrap the implicit mention of the father and mother as parents of the child, instead using a “catch-all” phrase mentioning “parents or other holders of parental authority.”

The suggested reform was likely conceived in view of the new situations created by the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in 2013 so as to avoid all accusations of “discrimination” that might result from the traditional wording of baptism certificates.

While the reform is merely “recommended,” it comes with the authority of Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat. His diocese, Langres in the east of France, is a relatively obscure one, but the bishop, appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, is president of the Council for canonical questions of the French bishops’ conference.

Besides, de Metz-Noblat invoked the acceptance of his recommendations by the Permanent Council of the French bishops’ conference. In a letter sent in December 2018 to his brother bishops in France, he wrote that the Permanent Council had approved the new formula for baptismal registers.

This indicates that Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, who presides over both the Permanent Council and the bishops’ conference, has assented to the proposed formulation which does away with the traditional concept of the normal and legitimate family in favor of a more fluid notion where many different models exist.

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